We had the good fortune of connecting with Masud Olufani and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Masud, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have been trained as an artist, so the idea of having my own business was a natural outgrowth of my evolved understanding of an artistic life. I am also an actor and writer, two professions that require one to be flexible in constructing a sustainable business model.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a bit unique in that my practice encompasses a variety of creative engagements. I’m a trained visual artist as well as, a television and film actor, talk show host and writer. My career has developed quite organically without me trying to micromanage every twist and turn. Through meditation, prayer and public service, I have developed the capacity to be open to unpredictable dimension of life and to apply my will to those areas that I can control while accepting what I cannot. That attitude has helped me avoid the stress of worrying about every minuscule detail that demands my attention. That level of peaceful acceptance has allowed me to conserve my energy and perform at a high level professionally. I cannot underestimate the importance of treating every single person that crosses your path with respect and dignity. Relationship building has been an essential dimension of any success I have enjoyed.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a student of history, so I would anchor the itinerary around places that tell the story of our past–the King Center; the Carter Center; Atlanta History Center etc. I love the variety of restaurants that Atlanta offers. Places like The Slutty Vegan ; Empire State South; ECCO; South City Kitchen, and Rumi’s Kitchen are great spots to eat and socialize.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many. Paula Wallace, president of SCAD has been a vital force in providing me with opportunities to succeed. The department of sculpture at SCAD, previously chaired by Susan Krause, was also instrumental in any success I have enjoyed. Morehouse College, where I attended undergraduate studies, was a powerful example of African American men dedicated to scholarship and service. There are too many individuals to name, they comprise a diverse cohort of kind and encouraging souls who nurtured and inspired me.
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